The last couple of weeks have been tough for LinkedIn. The password leak has been all anyone has been associating the company with, and now a class action lawsuit has been filed because of it. It must be especially frustrating coming so soon after the Facebook IPO, when LinkedIn is no doubt trying to position its brand as the less-hyped, yet more stable, social network to invest in. Today, Fortune published an interview with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner in which he describes how his company has changed in the year since its IPO, and where it will be headed in the future.
Weiner states that LinkedIn and its culture have not changed significantly. He said the company even went as far as to codify its culture and values in its SEC filings for its IPO. "And more important than writing that kind of stuff down is walking the walk, and making sure that we remain true to who we are," said Weiner. "And I think that really begins with continuing to pursue the long term vision as opposed to making short term compromises as a result of being public."
Later in the interview Weiner addressed the criticism often hurled at LinkedIn that it is a social network that people only use when they need a job. He responded that the saying at LinkedIn is "LinkedIn is not a service that enables you to pass the time, it's a service that enables you to save time." However, he goes on to say that the company is trying to engage members on a daily basis. He cites LinkedIn Today (the company's news feed product), LinkedIn groups, and the new LinkedIn iPad app as ways the company is trying to hook members.
Weiner mentioned that LinkedIn uses a private LinkedIn group for employees only. This allows them to share private company information, while still using the LinkedIn website. He said LinkedIn is looking at similar ways to build more tools and services such as that, and provide them to companies. As Weiner points out, a large portion of most companies' employees are already on LinkedIn.
When speaking of the mobile market, which LinkedIn has been focusing heavily on recently, Weiner stated that premium subscriptions geared specifically for the mobile or iPad environments are a possibility. Also, ads will soon become a part of the iPad app, "sooner rather than later." As for smaller mobile devices, Weiner mentioned that he feels the idea of a "feed" is crucial, and that LinkedIn will be testing something feed-like.
(Fortune via CNNMoney)